“Libraries gave us power” – Manic Street Preachers.
It’s been ages since I did a Studying Saturdays post and I still believe that we are all perpetual students until the day we die. We are always learning, always studying. We are forever on a learning cycle on this planet. As far as learning languages is concerned, I know I haven’t always been the best at it. But I always want to improve. At school I studied French, German and Latin and at times, I wasn’t totally into those subjects. I can still travel around French and German speaking countries and read menus, and get by. But not much more. I couldn’t engage in much stimulating conversation.
In 2010, I spent a month in Uruguay, learning Spanish in Montevideo, living with a local family and that was a cool challenge. In the end, my Spanish was again just about enough to get by in Spanish speaking countries. I passed the course and continued my travels. The Spanish came in useful of course as I later backpacked through places like El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Nicaragua.
In 2015, I spent a month in Hong Kong learning Cantonese (written in traditional Chinese). This was the toughest language challenge to date. But somehow my wandering heart didn’t hang around. I finished the first 4 weeks of an 8 week course but I was off backpacking in Bangladesh soon after.
“Good luck learning, Jonny, if you need any help, just ask me” – Karolina Malinowa.
Here in 2016, is the first time I will have lived in Eastern Europe for longer than a month. I am staying put in Gdańsk for a while and I am now learning Polish. I think this one is the biggest challenge yet as I attempt to read, write and speak Polish. With Chinese it was only speaking really. I am enrolled as a student at Polish in Gdańsk and am doing three weeks of intense Polish classes here.
My teacher is Alina, my classes each day run from 12.30 pm to 2 pm, with an hour of homework and however long I want to dedicate myself to additional learning.
I am in Room 121 on the first floor, Monday to Fridays only. This gives me weekends free for backpacking, writing and socialising. I am getting intensive 1 to 1 lessons. I started off in my first week by learning simple everyday phrases, learning how the alphabet letters are pronounced, a few nouns, a few adjectives and a few verbs. I can also count from 1-10 in Polish now.
I’m still busy blogging, backpacking and writing my book and life is action packed here, but I am enjoying this new challenge and look forward to sharing my story again in August, once I know a little bit more Polish. I am so glad I am here in Gdańsk, studying Polish and backpacking again. Life was stale for a while recently and I now found a home to stay, just for a while, or until life changes for me again.
Here are some of my other articles from Backpacking in Poland, not just this trip but previous visits:
– Cycling with Mika in Gdańsk and Sopot
– Visiting the Polish Post Office where World War II began
– Touring the Murals of Zaspa in Gdansk
– Pub Crawl in Gdansk
– Visiting Westerplatte Where World War II Began
– Visiting Stutthof
– Food Tour with Eat Polska in Gdynia
– Backpacking in Starogard Gdański
– Backpacking in Tczew
– Backpacking in Pelplin
– Backpacking in Bydgoszcz
– This A Present from Stalin’s Reign
– Warsaw Skies They Won’t Rain on You
– Auschwitz Part 1 – Auschwitz
– Auschwitz Part 2 – Birkenau
– Backpacking in Krakow
– Backpacking in Poznan
– My Stay at Mosquito Hostel, Krakow
– My Stay at Poco Loco Hostel, Poznan
– Night train from Krakow to Lviv, Ukraine
– Touring the Sand Dunes at Łeba
My Polish classes are right in the heart of Old Town Gdańsk, which is amazing! Here are the details for booking Polish lessons here in Gdańsk:
- ul. Za Murami 2, p. 121
80-823 Gdańsk, POLAND
Telephone: +48 534 996 030
Skype: Polish in Gdansk
As I’m not blogging as much as I used to, here are some photos from my first few weeks in Poland on this trip. As you can see, life is damn busy and I am having fun again! #dontstopliving Northern Irishman in Poland.